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Q: What should I do if I feel that the fees are to high?
A: Tell your attorney that you object to the fees being charged, and tell him or her the reason you believe that they are too high. Most attorneys will listen to complaints concerning fees and will make adjustments where the complaints are reasonable. However, this is a two way street and if a resolution cannot be found the local Bar Association is a good forum within which to resolve a fee dispute. In any event, it always helps to get a fee estimate from the attorney before each project and this should set the stage for all parties to be aware of each other's expectations. I would also recommend that the client instruct the attorney to notify the client if the project or matter exceeds any estimate of budget. This will go a long way to avoiding fee disputes.

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Q: How do I find an Attorney?
A: Attorneys tend to be found by word of mouth, referral from a neighbor, a friend or an acquaintance. You may also find attorneys through the local Bar Association, advertisements, associations of attorneys specializing in various areas of the law, or by just asking other attorneys whom they would recommend for your problem.

Q: How do I know that the advice of the Attorney is reliable?
A: Common sense and experience will usually lead an individual to question any advice from an attorney that seems inappropriate. In such an instance I would suggest that the individual solicit other attorney's advice concerning the matter with which he or she is uncomfortable. A second opinion never hurts.

Q: Can I negotiate the fee with an Attorney?
A: Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It usually depends on the nature of the representation and the attorney's individual policy. As a rule of thumb, it never hurts to ask.

Q: How much should I monitor the Attorney?
A: Do not be afraid to call, write, or ask as many questions as is necessary to satisfy your need for information, to feel comfortable with the representation, and to insure that the attorney is following through with his or her commitments to present/or pursue your case. The time and money you spend on your attorney is an investment just like any other and deserves the same attention.

Q: How do I know if the Attorney is in good standing with the State Bar?
A: A phone call to the California State Bar will provide information as to whether the attorney is in good standing. Also the State Bar has an Internet site, which also provides information concerning the attorney. Click here to search the California State Bar for an attorney.

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